Legislative Budget Board member Mary González looks into funding challenges caused by COVID-19

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AUSTIN (Nexstar) – Texas lawmakers will soon have to deal with the financial fallout from the COVID-19 crisis. Job cuts and economic losses will force tough decisions when it comes to the state’s budget.

The Legislative Budget Board will play a key role in the funding process. State Representative Mary González (D-Clint) is the newest appointee to the board.

“It’s going to be a whole different session in January,” González said. “Think about it. A year ago, I was thinking we’re getting ready for session and redistricting. Our number one thing, redistricting, is going to look so much different. The Census numbers are going to come back differently.”

“We aren’t going to be able to have all the hearings that we originally intended to have during the interim,” González continued. “Think about our hot-button issues like redistricting, where there’s probably thousand of people who are going to testify. How do we manage that if we’re still in the time of the Coronavirus?”

“As someone who cares deeply about democracy, I want to make sure that we are thinking about how we can be inclusive, how we can be equitable, and how we can really connect with all the voices.”

Rep. González said that she feels honored to have been appointed to the Legislative Budget Board by Speaker Dennis Bonnen.

“I’m the first one from El Paso, so it’s really exciting for my community,” González said. “What I hope to bring to the discussion is what is happening in different parts of the state, specifically my community or other marginalized communities.”

Rep. González says she understands that this is a difficult time to make budget decisions.

“Sadly, we know that there is going to be budget cuts,” González said. “So, we need to make sure that in the decisions that we have to make that we aren’t creating even greater consequences.”

Despite the tough time ahead, González says she’s looking forward to the challenge.

“It’s a lot easier to be part of the budget process when there’s money, but I am eager for the responsibility to take care of all Texans.”

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